What’s my home worth?

The question, “what’s my home worth” may have different answers depending on who you ask and the definition of value and worth is almost always viewed differently.  As a seller, your property’s worth may have more perceived value to you because of your sentimental love for the home and the many memories you’ve enjoyed while living there.

To prospective buyers, the question of value and worth is almost always viewed differently as a buyer is almost always looking to negotiate a better deal than the asking price, possibly to pay for updates to the home, if needed. This is not always the case in a highly competitive and low inventory seller’s market.

Thirdly, the buyer’s lender and the independent bank appraiser will look at the property’s value under a different lens, more commonly referred to as “fair market value”. In today’s market, formal appraisals for banks and lenders of money tend to be a conservative perspective. In the end though, your property is worth what a motivated and qualified buyer is willing to pay you in an open and competitive marketplace, which will solve the question, “what’s my home worth?”

Pricing your home properly is critical in getting the best price and selling your home fastinspect

Pricing your home properly is essential in today’s market and should be based on the question and answer “What’s my home worth?”. Your experienced real estate agent will prepare an in-depth report called a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). This thorough market analysis consists of fact-based data from the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) comparing your property to similar recently sold homes and under-contract homes in the marketplace.

The first thing your real estate agent will need to do is to physically inspect your home. Generally, this inspection won’t be overly detailed, nor does the house need to be totally cleaned up and sale-ready. It should be in such a condition that the real estate agent will be able to make an accurate assessment of its general condition, features and attributes to give you the answer to “What’s my South Shore home worth?” If you plan to make changes or any improvement to the home before selling, inform your real estate agent at this time. Once your real estate agent has completed their research on comparable data in the neighborhood, they will provide you with a comparative market analysis, which is essentially the fair market value or a range of value for your home. This analysis will also outline the market trends, conditions and a competitive listing price that will entice buyers in today’s market to make an offer so your property sells quickly.

The wrong price attracts the wrong buyers and an over-priced listing will never be seen by the right buyers

overpricedGenerally speaking, properties that are initially overpriced when initially listed for sale, can sit on the market for a long time and become stagnant. This is not an ideal place to be, nor do you want to be the house that keeps having multiple price reductions, sometimes referred to as the falling sword syndrome. The benefits of pricing your home properly right out of the gate means more buyers will view it in the crucial first few days of the marketing and advertising process and possibly buy it. This is when the largest pool of qualified buyers will see your home’s listing on the MLS and on the internet.  If your home is priced right and attractively, qualified and eager buyers will react quickly by scheduling a showing, potentially leading to a quick offer to purchase and closing. In fact, pricing your home attractively can ultimately lead to multiple offers from several different buyers, which can lead to a full-price offer or even an offer over the full asking price. If your home is perceived by buyers and their agent as over-priced, your home may linger on the market and languish. Remember that the wrong price attracts the wrong buyers, and an over-priced listing will never be seen by the right buyers. If your home is overpriced, it’s recommended to adjust the price as quickly as possible within the first several weeks.

The difference between a Comparative Market Analysis and a Certified Appraisal

apples and orangesYou should know that a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is not a certified appraisal. There is a difference. A comparative market analysis is provided to you by a licensed real estate agent who has their finger on the pulse of the market in your neighborhood and compares recent house sales to yours adjusting for such things as number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, garage, pool, condition, age and location. A certified appraisal must be performed by a licensed Massachusetts certified general appraiser. If you would like a certified appraisal, your real estate agent can assist you in obtaining one through a referral. However, if you are selling your home and the buyer is borrowing money from a bank to finance the transaction, the bank will order a certified bank appraisal to be paid by the buyer. As the seller, you won’t necessarily be privy to the appraisal as it belongs to the bank. Sometimes Certified Mass Appraisers and real estate agents can disagree on fair market value. It’s possible that the Appraiser is not entirely familiar with area or the current market trends and doesn’t have the knowledge to properly assess the fair market value of the home. In some cases an Appraiser might suggest another home that sold is comparable, but it might not be. It could be apples and oranges. An experienced real estate agent will make sure he/she meets with the bank Appraiser and educates them on the market and shares the most accurate comps to consider.

If you would like a free market analysis of your home, please call Realtor George Jamieson at 617-877-4839 or email George.jamieson@cbrealty.com.